Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Finding Beauty in Addiction

"I am the daughter of an alcoholic."
For years those words have slipped passed my lips and poured over my heart
creating embittered calluses. Like a branded, beaten pony I've taken that label
and let it manipulate me into a corner of resentment, fear, and confusion.

I've licked my wounds one too many times because I care too much.
I am guilty of giving glory to the darkness of addiction because I have not let
myself heal.
Logic had me convinced that if I just stayed broken, angry, and
unforgiving than I would never be "better" and then, in turn, "broken" again.
I'll just emotionally bleed to death and maybe that will be punishment enough
for the both of us. He couldn't possibly choose a drink over that... over me?

I cried out to God this week and asked Him, "Why me? It was so hard. It still is so hard."
I know that my heavenly Father was there in the difficult moments because I would not be
here today if He hadn't been. Grace held my hand, and heaven bent to bind up my brokenness,
but like a fearful child I worried that the healing would be more painful than the actual blow.

Hell would like nothing more than to own my father. To own me.
But I informed the devil this year that he can take back the label he tried
stamping on my being so long ago, "I am the daughter of an alcoholic,"
because I am something infinitely more dear -
I am someone he cannot even wrap his mind around...

No one's sin will define me. Not even my own.
I'm going on 10 years of recovery and I think the biggest lesson I have learned
is that healing is a process. Forgiveness can be given more than once. I need to
forgive over and over and over again because in my humanness I cannot just forget.
Live and let live. Be who God has called me to be. Surrender the problem.
Enjoy my own life and the gifts in the moment to the fullest.

God was there all along. He still is. He chose this path, this family for me
for a reason. And it makes me smile. Seriously smile. I love my father to death
and wait eagerly for the day that he receives his full healing.

Because our God is that big.
We are His children.
Defined by His sacrifice.

And that is how beauty can be found in addiction.

Do you have a similar story? Need help? Want to talk?
E-mail me: or leave a comment below.

Helpful resources:
Alcoholics Anonymous
Al-Anon / Alateen
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  1. "Forgiveness can be given more than once" I love this. It fits my story perfectly. Thank you :)

    1. You are so welcome, Caroline || - love and prayers -

  2. I always love your blog posts Brittany, but this one definitely hits close to home for me. As the fiance of an alcoholic (11 months in recovery, thank God!)It's an amazing thing to have the strength to open up about a relationship with an addict (hiding and secrecy would sometimes be so much easier!), and to find the beauty in addiction. I am so glad there are resources in the comomunity and online out there for loved ones of addicts. One of my favorites online resources is Coping with Alcoholics:

    Have you ever heard of it?

    I also love the line in your blog about how forgiveness can be given more than once, not only for the addict but for yourself through the healing process. Believe me I have my share of weak moments throughout our relationship. Without God we, Gus and I, would never have been able to cope and helped to turn something weak into something strong. Something ugly into something beautiful. Its a work in progress and it will constantly be a part of our lives, but there is so much we are blessed with: good family, friends, intrinsic spiritual motivation, love and hope that carry us through the tough times!

    Also a great book I read was: Catholic Alcoholic: A Witness to Addiction and Redemption by Annetta Sanow Sutton

    Always willing to talk to anyone out there who needs help or wants to talk about addiction and loving an addict as well! I don't blog but you can easily find my on Facebook :)

    Thank you again Brittany for your vulnerability and humble message!

    1. So many great resources! Thanks for sharing those, Sarah! I will have to check those out.

      "Hiding and secrecy would sometimes be so much easier" - I have heard that sooooo many times. A trap of alcoholism. So sad that so many give in to that behavior. I have found that bringing this situation to the LIGHT helps expel the darkness that surrounds the situation. You are welcome for sharing -

      I truly believe that it is in our vulnerability and humility that God can re-build us! When we admit how helpless we are - it gives Him the room to MOVE and HEAL! I love our God.


  3. You are so brave to face this head on. It strikes me that just like your father will always be a recovering alcoholic, you continue to recover from his addiction too. Your life really is a testament to God's love and mercy and strength in the worst of situations. In our weakness he is strong, and that shines like a light in your family. Prayers and love coming your way from me!

    1. Thank you, Katy! Yes, it has only hit me maybe in the past 4 years that my healing will ALSO be a process. I think I just expected to "get over it" right away, but it doesn't work like that. God is faithful in this cross. I appreciate all the love and prayers!!!

  4. Wow. Love this so much. Thank you for sharing, lovely lady!

  5. thank you for sharing this, brittany. it's such a comfort to know that there is something bigger that we can hold on to in trying times--the King of Kings. <3


    1. It is true, Marly!!! He IS bigger - always - forever. Keeps me going!!! Thanks for your kind message :-)

  6. Thank you for this. It is very affirming to hear "I need to
    forgive over and over and over again because in my humanness I cannot just forget," which has been very much a part of my experience. I am the daughter of an alcoholic mother and the wife of an alcoholic who, though he gave up alcohol before me, is still haunted by the life decisions he made when alcoholic and those of his father, also an alcoholic. My father's alcoholic father abused him and his siblings, and my father struggles emotionally as a result. Thank you.

    1. Praying for you right now. What a heavy cross. I am happy to share this piece of my heart so that I can connect with people like you - and share in the journey towards healing - toward heaven. Be blessed today, friend! Stay strong. You are loved.

  7. Oh Brittany girl this speaks right to my heart, not just my own dealings with an alcoholic father, but it speaks to my own issues with food. Thank you for sharing. Your words filling this virtual page with love and truth. Love ya girl!!

    1. So happy to hear that, Katie! It blesses me to know and see how God is working through this space to touch other hearts. The TRUTH will set us free, right?! That's why I feel so compelled to share the hard stuff sometimes. I know that speaking against the lies makes the enemy RUN. He can't stand before God and His truth... but you know that!!! Thanks for reading. Be blessed today, friend!!! XO

  8. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful soul. What a season you have been through..maybe over and over. One thing about suffering is that it allows us to have compassion with those who suffer the same cross. I have no doubt you will be a blessing to many because of this.
    Love and prayers!

    1. Thank you thank you thank you, Anna! I love what you're saying here about suffering allowing us to have compassion for those who suffer the same cross... I think you are right :-) The hardest thing is learning to have mercy and compassion for the one who hurts us. Ahhh--- being refined can be so painful. Stretches us thin and then into a new, beautiful creation. I'm amazed by how much God loves us - and how He loves us through each other!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing this.
    What struck a cord for me is: "But I informed the devil this year that he can take back the label he tried
    stamping on my being so long ago, "I am the daughter of an alcoholic,"

    I'm new to your blog. I so look forward to reading more, just what I've read so far you are wonderful writer and speak right to the hearts of your readers.

    My father's alcoholism was present all throughout my childhood and I have lost contact with him right after my son was born after he said probably the most hurtful thing I have ever heard in my life, about my son. I continue to heal over and over again.

    Thank You!

    1. Katie, so glad you shared!!! And welcome to the field!!!

      Thank you for your sweet compliments. I hope that you can find some healing through my heart shared here. Alcoholism is so hard. Such a mystery. A disease. I have to remind myself of that all the time.

      I always think that no matter how much they hurt us or others - the qualifier is hurting MORE. I really believe that. People wound others because they themselves are seriously wounded. Praying for your dad. For you today.



Thanks for leaving some comment love! I enjoy hearing what you have to say... and others do too! XO